A Clinton’s a two face, a worrisome thing,
that will lead you to sing the blues in the night.

Donna Brazile cuts to the quick. Play by the rules:

Donna Brazile’s statement on her website here.

Video via Kos.

Donna Brazile link via DelawareLiberal.

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31 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

Thurgood Marshall, Jr. is a lobbyist and attorney who is an active Democrat who has donated money to many Dems including Hillary Clinton. He sent Obama $500 a check for %500 (sic) before he knew of Obama’s ban on contributions from lobbyists. When he got his money back he wasnt (sic) surprised. What the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall couldn’t figure out was why the campaign returned more than he gave. Turns out he bought a t-shirt and hat for $30. And that qualified as a donation.

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He’s a uniter, not a divider.

From the Guardian:

Instead of looking ahead, Bush is forced to look back, seeking comfort in second world war analogies that are wholly inapplicable to our current circumstances. By destroying Iraq, a traditional counterweight in the region, Bush strengthened Iran as a regional power, and it is not an act of appeasement to talk to the most influential, and dangerous, people in the region.

But more striking, as we watch these last days of the Bush administration, is to survey the damage that Bush has done to the Republican party that was in essence a bequest to him from Ronald Reagan. Despite the havoc Reagan wrecked on the federal budget, the government safety net and the political fabric of the country, he managed to bring a respectability and a strength to American conservatism that proved formidable for more than a generation. It was powerful enough to force the Democratic party off its bearings and managed to get Bush elected president despite his obvious deficiencies as a candidate, an executive and a thinker.

Bush was hailed as the fulfilment of the Reagan’s aspirations and heir to his legacy. After losing to Bill Clinton in 1992, and taking control of the Congress in 1994, conservatives in general and Republicans in particular saw Bush’s 2000 win as the rapture for which they had been waiting since 1980, when they thought they had set liberalism back on it heels forever. By 2004 they controlled all the levers of government, but, counter to their expectations, the conservative agenda was more in tatters than ever.

Today, Bush is the most unpopular president in recent history. He has defiled Republicans’ notions of small government and destroyed their reputation as the more responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money. And, of course, there was the war of his choosing, which has led to the nefarious, Wilsonian nation-building they have so long despised. The word in Washington these days in that the Republican brand is tarnished. It may be worse that that. There are signs that the GOP is headed for landslide losses in the congressional elections this fall.

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31 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Economy

Bushonomics is sound policy. You can bank on it.

Or not.

Federal regulators today (May 30-ed.) shut down a small Minnesota bank called First Integrity, saying unsafe practices had weakened its financial condition.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. was appointed as receiver of First Integrity National Association of Staples, which had $54.7 million in assets and $50.3 million in deposits as of March 31.

The FDIC said all the bank’s deposits will be assumed by First International Bank and Trust of Watford City, N.D. Its two offices will reopen Saturday as branches of First International. Depositors of First Integrity will continue to have full access to their deposits, the agency said.

Via Profiles Blog.

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30 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

ASZ reports on the efforts of a wingnut blogger to find something with which to swiftboat Senator Obama’s uncle.

Mr. Payne’s brothers-in-arms respond. Interesting fellow-travelers these wingnuts have (emphasis added):

Concerning the service of Mr. Charles Payne: C.T. Payne was a soldier in the 89th Infantry Division. He served in the 355th Infantry Regiment, Company K. The 355th Infantry Regiment was the unit to liberate Ohrdruf. Mr. Payne was there.

For those who seek to minimize the horrors of Ohrdruf since it was a ‘work’ camp and not a ‘death’ camp, we have but one word: shame. Ironically, this argument has been made to us time and time again by various Holocaust-deniers and other pro-Nazi groups. We will let the testimony of survivors and veterans speak for themselves.

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30 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

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30 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

They must have been members of the underwearworld:

Police are looking for two men they say covered their faces with women’s thongs to rob a convenience store. Police released a surveillance video of the two men this week as they roamed inside a gas station during the robbery.

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30 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Updates here.

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30 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Political Theatre

I have avoided posting anything about Scott McClellan’s book. Writing about it would be a case of coals to Newcastle.

But I do want to recommend this post, from the Knight-Ridder McClatchy reporters, who had it right from the git-go.

Oh, yeah, and don’t forget the Demon Princess.

McClatchy link via Digby.

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Do we really need another President who just says what is convenient? Jeez, we’ve already got one of those.

Senator Clinton in September of last year:

The following is a statement by Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle.

“We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process.

And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.

Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar.”

Senator Clinton five months later:

Hillary Clinton issued a statement Friday in which she, for the first time, openly said she will ask her delegates to support seating delegates from Florida and Michigan, in opposition to the DNC’s delegate penalties.

“I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision,” Clinton said in the statement. “But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.”

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29 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Personal Musings

Despite the last seven years having been about magickal thinking and despite their having taken us on a Magickal Misery Tour, running a country is not about a magickal thinking. It’s about reality in a real world. John Cole:

John McCain could set up his campaign headquarters in the Green Zone, and it wouldn’t make his ideas any better.

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When Ohio’s Kent State University offered custodial staff the option of working four days a week instead of five to cut commuting costs, most jumped at the chance, part of a U.S. trend aimed at combating soaring gasoline prices.

“We offered it to 94 employees and 78 have taken us up on it,” said university spokesman Scott Rainone.

Interestingly enough, in the technical writing course I’ve just wrapped up for a local medical manufacturing outfit, I gave the class a writing assignment in which they could choose their own topic, as long as it was something they would like to see changed in their organization.

More than 10% of the class (two persons) picked exactly that topic: allow persons to work four 10s so they could save gas and commuting time.

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29 May 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: First Looks

The U.S. Army on Thursday said suicides among active duty troops in 2007 had reached the highest level on record, due partly to the stress caused by deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Army announced that 115 soldiers, including 22 National Guard and Army Reserve troops, killed themselves last year. That marked a 12.7 percent rise from the 102 suicides recorded in 2006. There were 85 Army suicides in 2005.

It was the highest number of actual suicides in the military force since record-keeping began in 1980 and Army officials said the rate has remained at about the same level since, with 38 confirmed suicides recorded for 2008 as of last Monday.

The Army also said there were 935 suicide attempts in 2007.

(snip)

But officials acknowledged that stresses caused by wartime Army operations were taking their toll on soldiers including in their personal relationships, the breakup of which was cited as a catalyst in 50 percent of cases.

They can go bonkers.

But God forbid they should go to college.

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29 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: It Is To Laugh

It’s after 9:00 p. m.

A FedEx Ground truck just went down the street.

Last time we saw delivery persons this late was Christmas.

Also seen on the highway:

License plate, state, or nationality hidden by a Philadelphia Eagles license plate frame, with the license number UK1 with a Union Jack to the right of the license number.

UK1 Union Jack

Anyone know of any US states that issue UK vanity plates?

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Wingnuts, natch.

Who else?

Oh, yeah. From ASZ.

Oh my God I do get tired of the lies and teh stupid.

Dick Polman has more on deliveries from the McBush trash truck.

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Yeah, the Cream were singing about draft cards.

(I still have mine somewhere. Did you ever have one? Do you know what it means to carry one in your wallet?)

I’m singing about telephones.

Take Brendan’s away before he makes more calls like this and this.

Protect politicians from being challenged to actually, you know, like, live in the real world and face the issues.

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From the Booman (emphasis added):

. . . we have to remember that there are many ways of counting the popular vote and the only way that Clinton can make a claim to have won it is to give herself 328,000 votes from Michigan and give none to Barack Obama, and to count her popular vote victory in Florida. Having set down that marker, we have to wonder how Clinton can send out an email to her list that says “You and I know this race is up to the voters” on the same day that she sends out an email to the superdelegates that says “It will be up to automatic delegates like you to help choose our party’s nominee.”

Those are contradictory arguments. The truth of the matter is that Hillary Clinton is asking the superdelegates (or automatic delegates) to ignore the will of the voters as expressed by the delegates elected under the rules (even including Florida and Michigan). She’s saying that the whole point of the nominating process is to ‘pick our strongest nominee’ rather than discover the preferences of the voters (since those two things are not necessarily synonymous). Yet she keeps howling about how we have to count every vote? Why is it so important to count every vote if your ultimate argument is that the process should nominate the strongest nominee regardless of the vote?

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It can surprise only those who haven’t yet figured out that McBushies thrive on lies.

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan writes in a surprisingly scathing memoir to be published next week that President Bush “veered terribly off course,” was not “open and forthright on Iraq,” and took a “permanent campaign approach” to governing at the expense of candor and competence.

Among the most explosive revelations in the 341-page book, titled “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception” (Public Affairs, $27.95):

  • • McClellan charges that Bush relied on “propaganda” to sell the war.
  • • He says the White House press corps was too easy on the administration during the run-up to the war.
  • • He admits that some of his own assertions from the briefing room podium turned out to be “badly misguided.”
  • • The longtime Bush loyalist also suggests that two top aides held a secret West Wing meeting to get their story straight about the CIA leak case at a time when federal prosecutors were after them — and McClellan was continuing to defend them despite mounting evidence they had not given him all the facts.
  • • McClellan asserts that the aides — Karl Rove, the president’s senior adviser, and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff — “had at best misled” him about their role in the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity.

Via John Cole.

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Trickle down turns to flushed down:


Prices of U.S. single-family homes plunged a record 14.4 percent in March from a year earlier, while consumer confidence slumped to its lowest in 16 years in May as gasoline prices surged.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas released on Tuesday showed prices of previously owned homes fell 2.2 percent in March, deepening their year-on-year decline.

Separately, the Conference Board said its consumer confidence index slumped to 57.2 this month from 62.8 in April as rising gasoline costs and falling home prices made Americans increasingly nervous both about current conditions and the future.

In one positive sign, however, the Commerce Department said sales of newly constructed single-family homes rose in April for the first time in six months, while the inventory of unsold new homes declined for the 12th straight month. But the previous month’s decline was even steeper than first reported.

I wonder–I really do, because I’m too lazy to look it up tonight and I have to be out of here early tomorrow–how much the sales of newly constructed homes were affected by price cuts by the developers, where “from the low $290s” might have changed to “from the low $250s“?

Anyone care to do my work for me? (That means find some statistics, not opine some sadistics.)

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27 May 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: First Looks

’bout time they got one right:

Employees who complain of racial bias in the workplace and then face retaliation can sue under a post-Civil War-era law barring discrimination, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday.

In a second similar decision, the high court ruled that a provision of the federal law barring age discrimination prohibits retaliation against a federal government employee who complains of bias.

Steven Shapiro of the American Civil Liberties Union hailed both rulings, saying, “Today’s decisions are appropriately grounded in the realities of the workplace. The court has protected workers and respected congressional intent.”

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